is an urban fantasy novel and the debut of author Karen Lofgren.
It tells the story of Diego Avery, a lonely young man who discovers a griffin in his forested backyard. Said griffin, named Aglaciel, can't remember anything about what happened to him
. A Quest for Identity
begins when Diego's girlfriend, Miho, finds a unicorn
in a nearby public park, and a lot more questions than answers are brought to the surface.
However, Diego has a lot of baggage himself, and sooner or later that's going to come to the forefront...
Starts off as a pretty typical A Boy and His X
story, but quickly gets darker.
Contains examples of:
- A Boy and His X: A 20-year-old and his griffin.
- Abusive Parents: Christian Avery sexually abused Diego.
- Archnemesis Dad: Christian Avery is this to Diego.
- Badass: Where to start! Nearly every character in some way or another, but Jane stands out in particular.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Rahim
- Big Bad: Christian Avery and Guilheh.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rahim bursting in to save Diego near the end.
- Bi the Way: One line implies Jane to be bisexual.
- Book Ends: Diego lying on the couch with a book while talking to Colin.
- Broken Bird: Jillian is a darker version of this trope.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Diego and Miho. It doesn't work out.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Damn near everyone. Diego was sexually abused by his father. Rahim was abandoned and essentially taken in by Christian Avery as slave labor. Jillian was almost mauled to death by griffins while terrified and alone in the mountains. Dawn watched Argent slaughter her family. Ditto for Aglaciel.
- Dashing Hispanic: Diego has some shades of this.
- Deal with the Devil: Avery did this with Guilheh. Somewhat subverted in that Avery's the one in control.
- Declaration of Protection: Goes unsaid for most of the story, but Rahim is definitely going to protect Diego, no matter what gets in his way.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Subverted. Christian Avery, a human, is the one in control of Guilheh, a Fantastical Creature. This remains so throughout the story.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Diego and Rahim.
- Identity Amnesia: Aglaciel has this for a decent amount of the story.
- Lonely Rich Kid: While not a minor anymore, Diego fits this trope.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Jillian describes Avery as this.
- Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Completely averted. Diego (who is half-Hispanic but half-Caucasian) is dating Japanese-American Miho Akare, but their relationship is portrayed as any other.
- Mr. Exposition: Anu, more or less.
- Our Dragons Are Different: True dragons haven't been around for a while, but wyverns appear.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: Aglaciel is a Classic.
- Pretty Boy: Diego is even called this at one point.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Aglaciel, as griffins are rather warlike. This is not necessarily a good thing.
- Quest for Identity: The initial driving question.
- Rape as Backstory: Diego was raped as a child. It's more or less portrayed realistically.
- The Mean Brit: Again, completely averted. Colin is probably the nicest and most well-adjusted character in the story.
- The Other Rainforest: The prime setting is a fictional city in Oregon that's somewhat like Portland. The characters also visit the Cascades at one point.
- The Phoenix: Lineh
- Urban Fantasy